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Style: Folsom | El Dorado Hills

30+ Fitness Tips from Folsom & Sacramento Area Experts

Dec 29, 2015 03:40PM ● By Megan Wiskus

Photo ©

We all know achieving whole-body happiness and making it last isn’t always easy. Thankfully, local health and wellness experts stepped in to help with their top tips for creating mind-body-soul contentment on a daily basis.


“Grab a chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano and a glass of full-bodied red wine. Not only is this a tasty combo, but the alcohol relaxes you and the tyrosine crystals in the cheese may reduce stress hormone levels.”—Jeremy M., Whole Foods Market

Photo by Dante Fontana © Style Media Group

Eat chocolate—be happy! Antioxidants in dark chocolate, called polyphenols, help reduce stress. Phenylethylamine, also found in chocolate, produces endorphins in the brain’s ‘feel good’ molecules, giving you a slight euphoric sensation. If you were looking for another reason to eat chocolate, it has been suggested that eating moderate amounts of 70 percent dark chocolate reduces your risk of heart disease.”—Jeremy M., Whole Foods Market

Start each day with the power of two—a clear purpose and focusing on two important, yet very different, ‘to-dos’:

• What is the one thing you must accomplish on your to-do list to ease your stress?

• What one thing will you do today to honor your health and fitness (i.e., clean eating, workout, yoga class, etc.).”—Jaime Hodges, head trainer at Orangetheory Fitness Folsom

Be careful with comparisons. Social media can be a comparison trap so proceed with caution!”Mandi Oliphant, licensed marriage and family therapist and registered art therapist 

“Meditation helps recreate the physiological response to stress in a more conscious manner. Simple meditation twice a day will help settle the mind and manage stress on a daily basis.”Manas Kshirsagar, ayurvedic practitioner 

“Focusing on what you appreciate in life helps increase happiness. Get a notebook, and at the end of each day write down five things you were grateful for that day. Review your lists week to week and notice the change in your overall positivity.”—Cheryl Mattox, LMFT

“Be mindful. Notice what’s around you, appreciate your senses, and breathe in each moment—memories aren’t made when we are mindlessly operating.”—Mandi Oliphant, licensed marriage and family therapist and registered art therapist

Photo © sean824/ 

Slow down. You don’t have to do it all right now.”—Mandi Oliphant, licensed marriage and family therapist and registered art therapist

Don’t shame yourself. Positive self-talk.”Ellen Mechling, MS, LMFT, and clinical psychiatric counselor 

Pray or meditate for one to five minutes a day (can be done as you drive to work or even while sitting in the bathroom).”Stephanie Parmely, PhD, psychologist  

“If you can’t make time to pray or meditate, have a sticker that reminds you to breathe (deep breath in, hold for two to five seconds and breath out slow to the count of 15-20 seconds).”Stephanie Parmely, PhD, psychologist 

“Your thoughts, imagination and assumptions create your reality. Consider thought as the currency of your mind. Spend your thoughts wisely by focusing upon the things you wish to attract into your life—what you focus upon is what you create for yourself.”—Jeffrey A. Applebaum, MD, primary care psychiatry and medicine

Photo courtesy of Now Essential Oils.

  “Think of a happy memory or relaxing place you have been. This can be a great mood booster.” Stephanie Parmely, PhD, psychologist 

 “I love my aromatherapy diffuser with my favorite essential oil, Peace and Harmony from Now Essential Oils. It’s my favorite way to de-stress.”—Beth Y., Whole Foods Market

Write down anxious thoughts and worries. Separate the ‘must do’ list from the ‘someday/maybe’ list.”Stephanie Parmely, PhD, psychologist


Yoga photo by Dante 
Fontana at Ohana Moon 
Yogo in Cameron Park

 Take a yoga class—from chair yoga to hot power vinyasa and everything in between.”Gretta Smith, yoga teacher

 “Start your day on the mat. Keep a yoga mat rolled out and ready for use when you wake up in the morning. Start your day with stretches, crunches, and upper- and lower- body weight workouts. This will give you an immediate energy boost, supplement your workouts, and support overall health and wellness—even if you can’t get to the gym later in the day.”—Rob Kram, fitness director at California Family Fitness


“Take your body weight (in pounds), and divide it by two—that’s how many ounces of water you should drink every day.”Dr. Roger S. Brisbane, chiropractor

“Breathe easy. This breathing exercise will ease tension and help you relax in just a few minutes: Inhale through your nose to the count of four, hold your breath to the count of four, exhale through your nose to the count of four, repeat four times, and notice how much more relaxed you feel.”—Cheryl Mattox, LMFT 

Stretch daily—even if it’s just for two minutes. It will make a difference.”—Dr. Roger S. Brisbane, chiropractor

“Roll with the punches. There are many self-care techniques you can try at home to soothe sore muscles and de-stress. Use foam rollers and tennis balls to loosen tired muscles, increase body movement and alleviate pain. Additionally, scalp and facial massages are easy to do anywhere, any time, to relax and refresh.”—Rob Kram, fitness director at California Family Fitness

End your day with stretches. Tackling tight muscles before bed allows the body to stay flexible during sleep when gravity and excessive movement won’t threaten to re-tighten muscle. This can also contribute to a more restful and satisfying sleep.”—Rob Kram, fitness director at California Family Fitness

Photo courtesy of Orange Theory

Get in a workout with a friend you have been meaning to catch up with—it’s an ‘all in one’—laughter, positive energy, calorie burn and quality time with a friend!”—Jaime Hodges, head trainer at Orangetheory Fitness Folsom

Drink your water. If you’re only two percent dehydrated, you’ll burn 30 percent less calories—not just while working out but all day long! Rule of thumb: 40 ounces of water by noon and 40 by 6 p.m.”—Lorri Ann Code, AFAA certified personal trainer, primary group exercise trainer and author

Exercise for at least 30 minutes, three times per week—it will help lower your stress levels and you will sleep better.”—Dr. Roger S. Brisbane, chiropractor

“Self-care is NOT selfish! Choosing to carve out time to be more active isn’t vain—it’s about increasing your overall health and longevity.”Sharon Thompson, certified personal trainer

“Exercising, even 12 minutes a week, can improve mood and health, so make time to walk, do push-ups, sit-ups—anything—for even five minutes a day.”—Stephanie Parmely, PhD, psychologist 

Sipping warm water throughout the day helps the body re-hydrate and assimilate much faster than cold water!”—Manas Kshirsagar, ayurvedic practitioner

Photo © Jenifoto/

Don’t skip breakfast. Sumo wrestlers skip meals and wait four to six hours between meals, which makes your body eat away at lean muscle (aka ‘your calorie burning engine’) and store more fat. Starting your day with breakfast kicks off your day with energy and literally ‘breaks the fast.’”—Lorri Ann Code, AFAA certified personal trainer and group trainer, owner of Mama Bootcamp, Inc., and author of ‘52 Ways to Find Your Mojo: A Guide to Transformation, Inspiration, and Fitness’

Stop working through your lunch. Most people have very busy lives, and it’s so important to make the most of the time you have. Studies show that consistent, shorter workouts daily (as opposed to one or two hours on the weekend) are much more effective! Try this express workout, which only takes 15 to 20 minutes: plank 60 seconds, 30 squats, 20 push-ups, 30 lunges, 20 dips. Run through this two to three times per week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) and walk for 30 minutes over your lunch breaks (Tuesdays and Thursdays). Bam! All done and you come back refreshed and energized to tackle your afternoon projects!”—Lorri Ann Code, AFAA certified personal trainer, primary group exercise trainer and author

Take a hot Epsom salt bath right before bed—it helps you relax and sleep more soundly!”—Dr. George Hudson, ND

“Avoid caffeinated beverages after 3 p.m. to prevent insomnia.”Meredith B. Rishwain, DO

Massage is the key to boosting my well-being. It increases circulation, relaxes the muscles and reinvigorates my attitude. I also use Gaia Quick Defense to keep my immune system in balance during this winter season.”—Natalie G., Whole Foods Market

“Exercise. Sounds cliché, but nobody can deny the proven fact that exercise releases endorphins, improves self-esteem, and contributes to positive and energizing feelings. Countless physical health benefits aside, exercise is a ‘no- brainer’ for a happy brain.”Dr. Karla Alberts, ND

“Doing a daily self-massage with oil before you shower helps to purify the physiology and nourish the nervous system.”—Manas Kshirsagar, ayurvedic practitioner 

“Get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times per week.”—Meredith B. Rishwain, DO


Avoid simple sugars and carbohydrates.”—Meredith B. Rishwain, DO

Photo by Dante Fontana at Whole Foods 

“The best and simplest fitness advice I can give is to set SMART (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals; be consistent and persistent; every day is an opportunity to start anew—it’s never too late to start.”—Kelli Poindexter, CPT and fitness director 

“My top three tips for healthy living are:

1. When choosing protein foods, the fewer ‘legs’ (i.e. meat-based protein) you consume, the better.

2. Eat a carbohydrate paired with a protein at every meal and snack.

3. Move your body every day in a way that makes you feel good.”Amanda MacKie, RD

Photo by Matt Salvo of Salvo Image

“If you want to build lean muscle while burning fat, you need to perform exercises that stimulate many muscles and expend as much energy as possible at the same time.”—Sharon Thompson, certified personal trainer


Geometric Pastel Luxe Thank You Notes by Galison, $14.99 at Face in a Book  4359 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 113, El Dorado Hills, 916-941-9401

 “Thank you cards are a good-feeling game changer! I was raised to write thank you notes for birthday presents, Christmas presents and everything in-between. They’re great for nice gestures, job interviews or any thoughtful act that makes you smile. Taking a moment here and there to think about what (and who) you’re grateful for creates a positive environment around you and is a way for you to shine a positive light in someone’s day. Keep a stack handy and find one person every week to give a thank you card to. It takes only a minute, and brings many positive things not just to the person you give it to, but also to yourself.”—Dr. Karla Alberts, ND

“Count your blessings in threes. Each day journal three things you’re grateful for, three positives of the day, and three ‘I am’ statements that are true, or you want to be true (for example, I am deserving of a great relationship; I am beating my addiction to cigarettes; I am perfect just the way I am.)”—Jaime Hodges, head trainer at Orangetheory Fitness Folsom

Know your values and what’s really important when all is said and done.”—Mandi Oliphant, licensed marriage and family therapist and registered art therapist 

Photo © ChenPG/

Laugh! Watch a stand-up routine, a funny movie, or any snippets on YouTube often.”—Dr. Magda Peronel, ND

“Take time for yourself. Recharge and create balance in your life by including activities that allow you to connect with yourself. Even with a busy schedule, you can make time for a 10-15 minute walk during lunch, a bath in the evening, a five-minute meditation, or curling up with a good book before bed.”—Cheryl Mattox, licensed marriage and family therapist, 5170 Golden Foothill Parkway, El Dorado Hills, 916-833-3007, 

Talk to an elder at least once a week—‘life didn’t start when you was born.’”—Dr. Magda Peronel, ND


 “Ayurveda is the science of life—it teaches you to align your body with the laws of nature to attain optimum balance.”—Manas Kshirsagar, ayurvedic practitioner

(Editor’s note: More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vital while realizing their full human potential.)

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